Telenor to invest $1 billion in Myanmar for HSPA and LTE-ready telecom network

Telecom service provider Telenor on Thursday said it will invest $1 billion in Myanmar to set up mobile network using HSPA and LTE-ready technologies.

Telenor is planning to provide network coverage for 90 percent of the population in Myanmar within five years.

The mobile service provider will offer voice and data services over 2G and 3G as Telenor’s initial offering, ensuring that consumers get better voice quality and high-speed mobile data connectivity in Myanmar that has population of around 60 million, of which less than 10 percent have access to mobile services.

GrameenPhone, a subsidiary of Telenor in Bangladesh, recently launched 3G services in Dhaka and other parts of the country. Interestingly, Uninor, the brand of Telenor in India, does not have a 3G license.

Telenor Myanmar targets EBITDA break-even in Myanmar within three years after the license award. The total peak funding, defined as the license fee plus accumulated losses until operating cash flow break-even is expected to be around $1 billion. The license fee is $500 million.

Currently, the company has a workforce of 150, and is expected to hire 1,000 full-time employees by the end of 2014.

Petter Furberg, CEO of Telenor Myanmar

“We are fully focused on a rapid roll-out of our network and establishing an extensive distribution system to make services easily available to the population. By offering high-quality products and excellent customer experience, we aim to create loyalty and trust with our customers in Myanmar,” said Petter Furberg, CEO of Telenor Myanmar.

Meanwhile, Telenor signed an agreement with the Union Government of Myanmar for a nationwide telecommunications license. The license includes spectrum in the 900MHz and 2.1GHz bands and is valid for 15 years.

Telenor will launch services within eight months after the license is awarded.